Metra Suspends 2 After Boy's Boot Gets Stuck in Door

Mother: Train continued down track with boy's boot in door

By BJ Lutz and Alex Perez
|  Monday, Dec 21, 2009  |  Updated 10:00 PM CDT
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Metra Suspends 2 After Boy's Boot Gets Stuck in Door

NBCChicago.com

Two Metra employees have been suspended with pay while the agency investigates an incident in which a small boy's foot got caught in a train door as the train started to pull out of the station.

Elaine Kermer, her daughter, Kalea, and her son, DJ, were at the Metra station in Worth on Saturday, heading home after a day of Christmas shopping downtown.

When she got off the train and turned to help her son off, she said she noticed his boot was stuck in the door.

"I was scared out of my mind. I pulled him as hard as I could thinking, 'Oh my God. I don't know what's going to happen," Kermer said.

She said she's haunted by the sight of the train continuing down the track with the little boot stuck in its door.

The family said they have no intention to sue, have hired counsel to force Metra to explain exactly what went wrong.

"It was only because of the efforts of his mother, pulling and pulling and tugging at him, that she extracted his foot from a boot that was caught in the door, and an otherwise horrible disaster was averted," said attorney Bob Clifford.

Clifford represented violinist Rachel Barton lost her legs in 1995 when a Metra train closed on her violin case and dragged her under the train.

Metra spokeswoman Judy Pardonnet said Metra crew is supposed to look and see that all the platforms are clear and all the doors are free of any passengers getting on and off the train before setting the train in motion.

"The proper procedures couldn't possibly have been followed, because if they were, you wouldn't have a child stuck in a closing door," she said.

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